Obstacles hampering the process of reparation for apartheid victims will be the key aspect of an indaba to be held in Cape Town on April 25-26.
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Khulumani Support group spokesperson Shirley Gunn said the indaba would include role-players in the government social cluster, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, other commissions, businesses, non-governmental associations and survivor groups. Gunn said they would look at how to formulate ways forward as well as means of appealing against decisions in which the TRC did not classify certain survivors as victims.
Maureen Mazibuko told a media conference in Cape Town how she witnessed the savage killing of her husband when she was pregnant and how she suffered various torture methods during the apartheid era, including having acid poured over her head. Mazibuko, who will attend the indaba, was not recognised as an apartheid victim, apparently because she could not produce her husband's death certificate. "People think we are after the money but we aren't... All we want is recognition and to be allowed to tell our story and ask why it was done," she said. She said she hoped that the indaba would allow injustices to be addressed.
To date, the TRC has declared 21 000 people victims and has made emergency interim payments of about R2000 to some victims. The TRC has also made R800 million available for reparation payments. "R800 million for reparations compared to R50 billion for the arms deal is an absolute insult... Thank you, but that is not enough," Gunn said. She added that transparency was a key concern for victims and many victims had no knowledge of whether they were recognised as victims or how and when they would be paid out.
Several victims will give testimony, followed by input from other organisations and government departments. Gunn said several government departments were asked to participate, but they declined because they were "hiding behind the justice department". "We are dealing with a government which has its head in the sand and a TRC which is a headless chicken," she said.
- Source: Full article "Reparations a hot potato" appeared on the news24.com website